Tears rolling down my face, I tapped my way from one end of the dance studio to the other, while our teacher barked abuse at us - her elementary school-aged students. This is the memory I hold of six-year-old me, learning to tap dance.
After three weeks of similar dictator-style teaching, my mother finally pulled me from the class.
Finding it no more inspiring, but certainly less abusive, I continued ballet from age four to fourteen. It was two afternoons a week for ten years. Ten years where I apprehended Tuesdays and Thursdays as being the worst days of the week … two hours where my body was under siege, and it moved it exactly how it was told to.
For my free spirited and creative soul, structured classes not only squelched my imagination, but for a long time profoundly damaged it.
When one way of doing something is taught to be the only way, there is no room for free thought. No room for independent expression ... and certainly no room for creativity.
Structured classes have their place – of course without them there would be no New York City Ballet, or Met Opera, along with countless other classics that bring culture and joy to our lives! But for most children, the structured class needs a free-style counterpart, in order to build understanding and joy of the practice.
Finally finding my feet and rhythm again through free-style dancing practices and yoga, my passion for creative movement and dance began to soar.
It is with this love and respect for self-expression and personal creativity that Goddess Classes were born. My passion and calling is to give children the space to explore their own voice. There is no one way. There is no wrong way. Every way is honored. Hail the imagination of the children!